Working with a mentor is often preferable to hiring a consultant, but there are times when a consultant might be necessary to help you grow your company, writes Cliff Oxford, founder of the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. Before selecting a consultant, "make sure they have actually accomplished what you are trying to do and not just what they are trying to sell," he advises. For example, if you are trying to expand your staff to 500 from 50, you need a consultant that has experienced that process itself, he writes.

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